“There’s just not much about the PGA Golf Club that a serious golfer won’t like.” Wrote Rob Armstrong in Golfing Florida’s Best. “It’s modern. It’s high-tech. It’s efficient, friendly, accommodating, and reasonably priced. From the moment you’re told that you can’t tip the folks who unload your clubs onto the golf cart to the moment they tell you again that they don’t take tips for cleaning your clubs and putting them back in your trunk after your round, the place is first class.”
The Ryder course at the PGA Golf Club – formerly called the North course – is named in honour of Samuel Ryder, the English entrepreneur and founder of the “official” Ryder Cup who also donated the solid gold trophy. “The Ryder course is lovely and tranquil,” wrote Rob Armstrong, “but difficult. Typical of Fazio’s best courses, it is extremely fair. Together, the two courses [Wanamaker and Ryder] could serve as a model for aspiring modern golf course designers. An in depth analysis of how Fazio combined what nature put there with what man and his machines could add could make up a text for a post-graduate seminar.”
There is a distinct Carolina-feel to the 7,038-yard Ryder course, with subtle undulations, mature pine trees and plenty of water. Rob Armstrong sums it up perfectly: “If Tom Fazio’s Wanamaker course is a three-star gourmet feast, the Ryder course is mom’s home cooking. It is immensely satisfying and it is something you want to return to again and again.”
PGA has 3 courses on property at the Village. This one is #3 of those. It's actually a good course though. It has a hand full of really good holes and a strong finish. It's always in tip top shape. The par 5 4th hole is a great risk reward hole. How much to try to cut off? It starts with a wide open par 4 Number 2 is a dogleg right with a bunker to carry or maybe you deal with OB left. 3 is a straight away par 4 with a challenging green site. 4 is a dogleg right par 5 with water the whole way from tee to green with some bunkers challenging you to fly them close to the waters edge. 5 is a par 3 of little fan fare, 6 is a rolling par 4 which has some trees you must navigate. 7 is a par 5 with some length. 8 is a very good par 3 which has a green site adjacent to a pond and plays to some good length. 9 is a good finish to the front with a very strong par4. a very deep green and water to the right of the green. 10 is a short par 4 with a slightly raised green. 11 is a good dogleg right which requires a good drive and dealing with a pond just left of the large green. 12 is a nice par 3 with a deep green which has a steep sloped front to a tucked back left. 13 is a par 5 with some water to navigate. 14 is a slight dogleg left par 4. 15 is a challenging straight away rolling contour par 4. 16 is a downhill over water to a peninsula green so proper distance is mandatory. 17 is a par 5 of no special value except a very well bunkered green. 18 is a solid finishing par 4 of a slight dog leg right with fairway contours of big level differences and fairway bunkers on the right. As noted this is #3 of the PGA Village courses but it's a good course. Dye and Wanamaker are just slightly better.